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Virtual vs real photons

  1. Aug 5, 2010 #1

    nomadreid

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    Gold Member

    Virtual particles confuse me a bit, because although the ones which exist for such short times in Feynman diagrams seem straightforward, the electric and magnetic forces, whose ranges are infinite, are transported via virtual particles, whereas a real photon is just electromagnetic radiation. So, how does one justify that the photons associated with electric and magnetic forces are virtual when these fields are alone but are real when they combine to give light?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2010 #2
    This question comes up a lot here at PF. I would suggest you to search the quantum forum for virtual particles or virtual photons.
     
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